Outpatient and semi-outpatient total shoulder replacement: patient selection and program management
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Shoulder arthroplasty has traditionally been viewed as an inpatient procedure because of the inherent medical comorbidities associated with an aging population and the need for postoperative pain control. Recent studies have shown that in appropriately selected patients, shoulder arthroplasty procedures can be safely done as outpatient procedures and can deliver economic value in today's cost-conscious health care environment. Several factors help ensure a successful surgical outcome, including cooperation from the ambulatory anesthesia service, proper patient selection, and perioperative pain control. Postoperatively, provider availability is vital to complete a seamless patient experience. With appropriate algorithms and care plans in place, outpatient shoulder arthroplasty can be a safe and cost-efficient procedure. The advances pioneered by outpatient shoulder arthroplasty will also serve to benefit inpatient shoulder arthroplasty patients via improved pain control, perioperative education, and potentially decreased length of stay.